Written by Emi Sanders, Student and Project Manager for Studio 804’s Indiana Street House
475 has been a longtime partner of the student design-build group, Studio 804, located in Lawrence at the University of Kansas. Studio 804 is dedicated to creating innovative solutions for energy efficient and sustainable buildings. With their ideology of challenging and elevating building norms, it seems natural that FRONTA QUATTRO and INTELLO PLUS were essential products for their 2022 project, the Indiana Street House.
Emerging From The Site
The neighbouring houses to the project were built over 100 years ago, when modern zoning laws didn't exist, making the site narrower than most. This narrow lot helped inspire the design for The Indiana Street House; the main living spaces in the house rise above the landscape, situated on the second floor. This provides the opportunity for more natural light to flow through the primary spaces. The site itself slopes 11 feet from front to back and the ground level of the home nestles into the landscape, giving the impression that the house is emerging from the site - similar to the mature Burr Oak tree in the front of the house.
The driving design concept for the Indiana Street House was for the home to emerge from the ground, bringing users up to feel as if they were living among the trees. The design strives to bring the everyday life of the user closer to the natural world that surrounds them. A natural driven design should be kind to the environment that inspired it, and the use of the Pro Clima airtightness system from 475 helped Studio 804 combine aesthetics with sustainability to make a cohesive project.
Air Barrier Design
Studio 804 used FRONTA QUATTRO as their WRB to add depth to the open-joint facade while protecting the structure from external forces and acting as an airtight layer. The all black, 3-layer water resistant barrier (WRB) provides superior weather protection and airtightness to this project. The membrane is used to cover and protect the exterior OSB, offering a true black sheathing and making the perfect choice for an open-joint rainscreen.
INTELLO PLUS was wrapped throughout the interior assembly, reinforcing the super-insulated walls and creating an airtight enclosure with the added protection of INTELLO’s smart vapour retarding properties. With cantilevered walls, Studio 804 used “floppy bits" to properly connect the airtight envelope from the first to the second floor. This was done by wrapping sections of FRONTA QUATTRO from the top of the first level walls and around the overhang before the second level walls were placed. Once the second level walls were installed the FRONTA QUATTRO was used as a connection piece for the INTELLO, creating a seamless, air-tight barrier inside the home.
Power and Mechanicals
The Indiana Street House has a net-metered solar system with a fixed roof-mounted array of 15 high-wattage Q-cells, constituting a 6-kWh system. This system is capable of offsetting 82% of the average Kansas home energy consumption. The HVAC system includes the benefits of an ERV, which pulls fresh air from the outside and circulates it throughout the house, while exhausting stale air improving indoor air quality. The house is equipped with 4 high-efficiency ducted and ductless units that effortlessly heat and cool the house to the desired temperature without added noise. The energy and HVAC system are significantly more efficient due to the air tightness of the home that is created by the INTELLO PLUS air barrier and further supported by the FRONTA QUATTRO WRB.
Corey Gaffer Photography
It is expected that the Indiana Street House will achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level possible under the Green Building Council's standards for sustainable practice. Efforts such as these align with the mission of both Studio 804 and 475 High Performance Building Supply. The Studio 804 group strives to better the community and environment by providing a building that minimizes its impact on the environment. In addition to the financial benefits that a LEED Platinum project has for the homeowner, it also provides a certain peace of mind that their home is not destructive to the earth. With this, protecting the home from external forces and sealing the enclosure in an airtight envelope further supports the longevity of the Indiana Street House.
The creation of a home that sets an environmental precedent in the heart of the country was made possible thanks to the use of 475 High Performance Building Supply smart membranes.